By Aalayah Faulcon
A peek into the lives and perspective of Christians who believe self-discipline is the best ingredient to living a purposeful and God driven life.
New fads, music and television shows entice the world every day. Christians are not exempt from falling into the trap of wanting to watch the newest shows or listen to the newest rap songs. This epidemic has become the challenge and opportunity, according to Christian leaders. The Kingdom Learning Center located in Irmo, South Carolina and its members share the same Christian values and drive for holiness without cutting corners. The riddance of secular music, secular television shows, vulgar language, alcohol and other worldly objects may seem like isolation from reality, but to The Kingdom Learning Center’s members, it is the right way to live.
When examining the life of Jesus and his followers before the electronic era we live in today, their lives were a lot more confined than those at The Kingdom Learning Center. Apostle D.C. Terry Sr. and his wife Apostle Tara Terry have lived a life without secular influence since salvation and built the foundation of their ministry based off of str
ategic disciplined restrictions. Shutting out some popular music and songs are viewed as basic things to the Terry’s and The Kingdom Learning Center’s members. Before salvation Apostle Terry Sr. produced secular R&B music. Not only did he produce the songs, but he also sung them. Terry Sr. would use the songs he sang to control the emotions of his audience. Certain songs ignited different feelings from people who were experiencing similar emotions. Terry Sr. admitted he knew how to make people cry at any moment.“ Music is so powerful; that is why you have to careful who and what you listen to,” Terry Sr. said.
Terry Sr. is firm on the belief that you cannot impact a system you are still controlled by. In 1995, six months after accepting Christ, Terry stopped listening to secular music. He was convicted by the Holy Spirit to cease listening to all ungodly music. “I had a feeling that there was something very wrong about the music I was listening to, so I stopped,” He said. Some may think that it is not that serious. How much harm can one song, one curse word, one alcoholic beverage or even a movie do, He asks. According to the beliefs of The Kingdom Learning Center’s members, a lot of damage can be done. When listening to music or movies you must consider the message and the messenger. Someone could have a good message today and tell you to do something ungodly later. Often times, songs and movies have underlying meanings one might miss the understanding of. “ Putting trust in an artist is dangerous. Afterall, most people do not listen to the words,” Terry said. Without question, there are movies and musically appropriate songs that are not Christian based with good messages. But there is a difference between good and Godly.
Both D.C. Terry and Tara Terry expect those who attend the ministry to live the same way. They are certain that the disciplined lifestyle for God will produce divine results not only in their lives, but in others’ lives as well. “ You can not be your God ordained best without discipline,” Terry said. Brandon Sanders and his wife are two of the youngest members at TKLC aside from the Terry’s six children. Sanders is 22 years old and is setting aside every secular social norm he practiced before joining the ministry.”Youthful living comes with many temptations from society and peers,” Sanders said. Temptations to party, drink and live carefree are almost always on the menu for most young adults. Sanders said he has decided to stand firm on living for God, despite the challenges that arise. He follows the instructions of his leaders because of the spiritual and physical rewards it yields in his life. Though it is tempting for Sanders to listen to a rap or R&B songs every now and then, he chooses to break the social norm. “When I discipline my life to live for God and to be successful, everything falls into place the right way,” Sanders said.
The Terrys’ six children are held to the same standard. The Terrys teach their children the truth about the secular world and expect them not to partake in listening and watching inappropriate movies and songs. As parents, they say, they do realize their children will be exposed to some of it by friends, but they trust their children. They are certain that their children trust their counsel. “Even when our children feel pressure, we know they stand strong on what we teach them,” Terry said. But to make sure, sometimes they check their children’s cell phones and ipod’s to ensure they are following their instructions. They have never found anything.
Member Sharlon Collins joined The Kingdom Learning from what some may consider a traditional church. Joining and assembling with members at TKLC was a good decision, Collins said. Collins watched D.C. Terry’s sermons online before joining the ministry and felt the strong urge to connect with them. “Other ministries just helped me do church, but TKLC helps me develop the good God has placed in me,” Collins said. Collins said that she can tell the difference between people who shut out the secular world and those who do not. “ People’s behavior, language, beliefs and the way they respond tells me a lot,” Collins said.
Biblically, scripture backs up the beliefs of those who attend The Kingdom Learning Center. Despite the corners some people may cut and excuses used to justify actions, scripture makes it plain. Romans 12:2 states, “ Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.” Phillippians 4:8 also address what is appropriate for those who uphold Christian beliefs.
Disciple is important because you need it in everything. It’s not about just being a disciplined church goer, but you need it to be good in sports, school, marriage and your relationship with God. “You need disciple to be like Christ. You can’t reign without disciple. You need it in every area of your life. You can not just talk about it, but you must be about it,” Terry Sr. says.
Faulcon is a public relations senior